• Frances Atkinson

Living a Calmer Life in 3 Easy Steps

Everywhere we look we are bombarded with messages of how to be healthier, live longer, look better, be successful. Along with this the importance of slowing down, de stressing and living a calmer life are being encouraged. Trying to implement the advice being given whilst keeping the many plates of life spinning can lead to feelings of being overwhelmed, stressed and a failure. This is a natural reaction and common amongst many people I support but navigating the transition to a calmer life doesn’t have to be hard. Below are a number of practical suggestions of ways to build more calm and balance into your life, along with three easy steps of how to implement them.

The Practical Suggestions

  • Sleep hygiene - get sufficient sleep and aim to to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day - weekends included.

  • Take regular physical activity - this can include anything from hight intensity interval training (HITT), boot camps, gym classes and structured sports to yoga, pilates, Tai Chi or walking

  • Eat well - that doesn’t mean following faddy diets. Moderation is the key and ensuring you have a good balance of all the key food groups

  • Meditate regularly- 10 - 20 minutes can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and enhance weight loss and sleep.

  • Keep a ‘gratitude’ diary - jotting down 3 things we are grateful for at the start or end of the day can enhance positivity

  • Write a journal - noting down negative thoughts can help clear the mind

  • Manage screen time - the detrimental effects of too much, especially before bedtime is well documented

  • Spend time in nature - even just a few minutes outside can help us feel recharged

  • Set realistic ‘to do’ lists - aim to move three tasks off the list. if time you can do more

  • Protect time - to do the activities that bring you joy

  • Practice deep breathing from the stomach

  • Spend time with loved ones - it can have a positive impact on feelings of wellbeing

  • Avoid - toxic ‘friendships’

  • Slow down - allow more time to get to places

  • Listen to calming music - create your own play list

  • Take pauses - before rushing on to the next activity take a few minutes out. Look away from your computer, focus on your breath or step outside for a some fresh air

Recognise where you are currently and where you would like to be in terms of a calmer lifestyle. You might be doing all of the above already, well done you. For most of us it is a ‘work in progress’. Avoid comparing yourself to others. This is your life and you are in control of where it is going. Work towards transitioning to a calmer life in a way that suites your own individual needs and lifestyle.

Three easy ways to start the process

1. Identify the activities that help you relax and feel calm. We are all individual and different. What one person finds calming could be very stressful for someone else.

2. Take baby steps. Start off small and be realistic. To start with choose one suggestion you can easily incorporate into your daily routine. Highlight when in the day you intend to do this and stick to it.

3. Be kind to yourself. It’s ok if you miss a few days, weeks …… even months. It takes time for a new behaviour to become a habit. Relapse is ok. Reflect on what stopped you and the changes you need to make with the necessary support, then implement your new plan of action.

Navigating Life's Transitions

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